The spark plug…not very sexy, but a critical component of a finely tuned automobile engine. Their condition can effect not only the power your engine puts out, but also how smoothly it runs and what your fuel economy will be.
Here’s a little history from Wikipedia…
In 1860 Étienne Lenoir used an electric spark plug in his gas engine, the first internal combustion piston engine and is generally credited with the invention of the spark plug.
Early patents for spark plugs included those by Nikola Tesla (in U.S. Patent 609,250 for an ignition timing system, 1898), Frederick Richard Simms (GB 24859/1898, 1898) and Robert Bosch (GB 26907/1898). But only the invention of the first commercially viable high-voltage spark plug as part of a magneto-based ignition system by Robert Bosch’s engineer Gottlob Honold in 1902 made possible the development of the spark-ignition engine.
A spark plug is a device for delivering electric current from an ignition system to the combustion chamber of a spark-ignition engine to ignite the compressed fuel/air mixture by an electric spark, while containing combustion pressure within the engine.
A spark plug has a metal threaded shell, electrically isolated from a central electrode by a porcelain insulator. The central electrode, which may contain a resistor, is connected by a heavily insulated wire to the output terminal of an ignition coil or magneto. The spark plug’s metal shell is screwed into the engine’s cylinder head and thus electrically grounded.
The central electrode protrudes through the porcelain insulator into the combustion chamber, forming one or more spark gaps between the inner end of the central electrode and usually one or more protuberances or structures attached to the inner end of the threaded shell and designated the side, earth, or ground electrode(s).
Here’s how these small, but critically important parts, are made…
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